Claro Chile begins LTE-A rollout

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Claro Chile has begun the rollout of its 4G LTE-A infrastructure leveraging the 700Mhz band, five months later than competitors Movistar and Entel.

The LTE-Advanced technology with carrier aggregation, combining the 700MHz and 2,600GHz bands, will be rolled out initially in Santiago Metropolitan region and in a second stage in the port city of Valparaíso and in Biobío region (VIII).

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In a release, Claro Chile's legal and regulatory affairs director, Miguel Oyonarte, said the new deployment would increase download speeds to 40-50Mbps from about 20Mbps currently.

The company also said that the 700MHz band was helping Claro reach 366 isolated communities, including 133 schools, with 3G broadband including internet access.

Claro, Entel, and Movistar won 700MHz in 2014, but it was not until May this year that the authorities were able to clear the band for commercial use, because of a legal dispute.;

They must provide 700MHz LTE coverage for 1,281 isolated communities and 503 rural schools.

Entel launched commercial LTE-Advanced services as soon as the government gave the green light, and while Movistar confirmed that basic LTE was also available in the 700MHz band, it would not be offering LTE-Advanced until 2H16.

The three operators also have 700Mhz spectrum in Peru and Movistar has launched LTE-A in that country.